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  • Speed wobbles @ 80mph

    Posted by Adam on August 29, 2022 at 9:17 pm

    Hey all, newbie here. Had an 03 Vegas for a few years. Last year I noticed that if I got up around the 80mph mark that the bike would start to get into a wobble. Slight but noticeable. Changed front tire as it was worn a bit goofy, had the shocks rebuilt this year as they weren’t dampening proper. Still wobbling. Neck/head bearing seems solid, I’m in the process of collecting some tools to re-torque neck bearing nuts. Any ideas? I had it in a shop that works on victories and they said everything looks good on it. I’ve never had a bike do this before at reasonable speeds and constant load.

    Keith replied 1 year, 5 months ago 3 Members · 5 Replies
  • 5 Replies
  • Rylan

    August 30, 2022 at 6:11 am

    What usually ends up being the case is the thing you wrote off as “ok” is actually the problem.

    Like – “Well it can’t be the tires, they only have 500 miles on them”

    “Well it can’t be the next bearing, it feels fine to me”

    “Well it can’t be the ……”

    I call that behavior “putting on the blinders” where you skip over the problem because you’ve written it off in your head.

    An 03 Vegas when in perfect mechanical condition should not have a speed wobble. It’s not inherent in the design of the bike. You’ll have to make sure each system of the bike is diagnosed and fixed properly.

    “Well, it can’t be the forks – Jimbob already fixed them” Maybe Jimbob got something wrong.

    “Well it can’t be the tires, they’re brand new” The tire was the wrong type or had a defect.

    “Well it can’t be the neck bearing, it feels fine” You don’t know what you’re feeling for, it’s actually rusted.

    “I’ve never heard of a swingarm bearing going bad, can’t be it” It can.

    And so on, and so on. An 03 Vegas when in perfect mechanical condition should not have a speed wobble at 80 mph.

  • Adam

    August 30, 2022 at 7:14 am

    Yeah fair enough. That only leaves that neck bearing IMO. Problem existed before and after new tire, before and after shock rebuild by a victory shop. I know that having something done by your buddy in his garage comes with uncertainty, but I also think you have to put some faith in a shop sometimes. Can’t assume everything was done wrong but good to be skeptical. I think I’ll replace those bearings.

  • Keith

    September 12, 2022 at 2:05 am

    Also check your rear tire. A rear tire worn only in the center or uneven wear can cause a high speed wobble even though there is still a lot of tread left on the tire.

  • Adam

    September 12, 2022 at 6:20 am

    Yeah rear tire is getting worn but still plenty of tread IMO. I’m from manitoba and nothing but straight flat highways here so the wear does end up being mostly in the middle. Will replace for next season. Neck bearings also on order. I’ve been using metzler tires, any thoughts on them?

  • Keith

    September 12, 2022 at 4:48 pm

    From what I heard, Metzler tires wobble like hell at high speeds even when they are new. But I don’t have any experience with them personally. I run Avon Cobra Chrome tires and they are absolutely great. Ride smooth as glass at any speed and stick to the road like glue.